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What is the difference between the birth rate and the fertility rate?

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by sunnysal, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. I'm flummoxed by this question as I don't properly understand the fertility rate!! Is the difference that the birth rate is an actual rate whereas the fertility rate is potential?
    Also: does anyone have any stats on family size since 1900. The AQA SOW suggests this is important to know!
    I do not like this topic one bit!
    Any advice gratefully received!
     
  2. I'm flummoxed by this question as I don't properly understand the fertility rate!! Is the difference that the birth rate is an actual rate whereas the fertility rate is potential?
    Also: does anyone have any stats on family size since 1900. The AQA SOW suggests this is important to know!
    I do not like this topic one bit!
    Any advice gratefully received!
     
  3. They are closely linked, so don't worry if it's not sinking in!
    The birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 of the population each year.
    The fertility rate is the average number of of children born to women of childbearing age (15-44).
    Obviously for this measure, all women within that age category are featured and the number of children born to them is averaged. In 2001 it was approx 1.67 children, whereas now it currently stands 2 (So general statements like 'today, women have, on average two children in their lifetime') can be made.
    The birth rate is harder to understand, but if sociologists just looked at total number of births in a year (raw figure) then this would obviously be much harder to spot population growth, or certain patterns. For example, the population in the UK at the turn of the last century was about 37 million - now it stands at approx 60+ million. BUT, the birth rate has DECREASED. If we just used raw figures of birth rates, it would not tell us anything because of population fluctuations etc.
    I think demography is the runt of the litter with regards to the family topics.
    Message me if you need any further help
     
    jeazellesinfuego likes this.
  4. blt

    blt New commenter

    Love it :) Runt of the litter! My thoughts exactly! But you know they'll be throwing a few more essay questions that way ;)
     
  5. jeazellesinfuego

    jeazellesinfuego New commenter

    can you please elaborate more about the differences of birth rate and fertility rate it would be a great help for our thesis,thanks!!!
     
  6.  
  7. Demography is not the most exciting subject but if you are going to understand changes in family life understanding demographic changes is pretty important. For example the fact that women now have on average less than 2 children and typically wait until their 30s to start having then makes a huge difference to how families operate. Similarly longer life expectancy and lower mortality rates mean that we have an ageing population which means more beanpole type families and 3 or even 4 generation living together at one time. So don't diss poor old demography it underpins an understanding of structural changes in family life!
     

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